Three unanswered goals by the Penticton Vees gave them a 4-1 victory against the visiting Merritt Centennials Friday evening.
While South Okanagan residents were unsuccessful in their attempt to set a Guiness World Record to have 5,000 people high-five simultaneously to help celebrate the fifth anniversary of the South Okanagan Events Centre, the Vees were success in winning their BCHL home opener. The Vees made the crowd of 3,676 wait until the third period to put the game away. Ben Dalpe opened the scoring in the first on the power-play when his one-timer low in the slot beat Centennials goalie Devin Kero. The Centennials countered late in the second period as Tyler Martins shot found a hole through traffic to beat Vees goalie Hunter Miska, making his second consecutive start.
Ryan Gropp’s third goal of the season was the winner at 9:04 of the third.
The Vees reunited their Trench Line of Cody DePourcq, Cam Amantea and Travis Blanleil and they secured the Vees’ win. Blanleil raced down a bouncing puck in the Merritt zone and whacked it past a Kero at 14:16, his first of the year putting the Vees ahead by two. Four minutes later, Blanleil was at it again. This time he set up Amantea. Blanleil made a play to create an odd-man rush in the neutral zone. He moved into the Merritt end on the right wing and fed a centering pass to Amantea. The pass was slowed by a Merritt stick but it still managed to find Amantea in front, who shoveled it into the net. His second in three games.
The Vees wrap up their home-opening weekend when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals, who lost to the Trail Smoke Eaters 3-2 last night. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. tonight in the SOEC.